Keeping it non spikey …?

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RE-POSTED fron Change.org

A controversial and inhumane way of ‘managing’ London’s homeless population was brought to the attention of twitterers at the weekend: spikes have been placed outside a building owned by property company Property Partners, to deter people from sleeping on the property.

As a Mental health nurse in London I have all too often seen the result of isolating and mistreating our city’s homeless. We should be offering practical and emotional support to help the most vulnerable to get back on their feet. We should not be sending them the message that they are pests that need to be warded off. 

London is lucky to have some of the most prolific charities working tirelessly to help vulnerable people link in with services and get the support they are in need of. As a society should we not be doing more to help these people instead of isolating them further?
We should be looking after our vulnerable population not ostracising them by moving them to places that are less intrusive to our lives, so that they are out of sight.

The next time you walk past a homeless person, think about the fact that they have had lives, rich and interesting lives that were thrown into turmoil due to circumstances that are often out of their control. 
For those people who are not sure if they agree with this petition I would say if it is a problem for a homeless person to stay in that area, then perhaps a more human approach could be adopted – a person telling another person to move along is more humane than installing spikes.

Humans deserve to be treated like humans regardless of their social situation.

You never know what is round the corner. Support the silent population.

Concerned Sub-IT readers can support this worthy and humane campaign at :

http://www.change.org/en-GB

Letter of support to the Local Media below :

Get Rid of Homeless Spikes

As some of Rochdale Online readers  may be aware of, there are now
more ‘Homeless Spikes’ being laid around to prevent the homeless
sleeping on the the streets.

So far this is taking place in London and some of the larger cities and is an import from less liberal governments with less enlightened
responses to homelessness  than Britain has traditionally been in the
past.

“These anti-homeless studs are like the spikes they use to keep
pigeons off buildings. The destitute are now considered vermin ”

Homelessness charities and campaigners know these types of metal studs
had been used to deter rough sleepers for more than a decade but their
more widespread use recently anecdotally appears to be part of an
orchestrated and  concerted campaign to roll them out in spermarkets,
public spaces, outside gated communities and on publiclyy owned
properties nationally.

Katharine Sacks-Jones, head of policy and campaigns at Crisis, said:

“This is happening in a context where rough sleeping has gone up
massively. Over the last three years rough sleeping has risen by 36%
nationally and by 75% in London. More than 6,400 people slept rough in
London last year.”

“The reason for that increase is the continuing economic downturn, the
housing shortage, and cuts to benefits, particularly housing benefit.”

This marks a massive failure to address European and global
homelessness and is a brutal and brutalising response to the rising
wave of homelessness and the failure of our political class of all the
three major parties to find workable and sustainable solutions to this
crisis.

In Brazil squads of para-militaries have been documented rounding up
and “disappearing” thousands of homeless street children from the
Favelas [ Brazils slums ] which house some 29 million Brazilian
citizens prior to the world cup , please see :
http://www.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/global-voices/military-occupation-mar%C3%A9-ahead-brazils-world-cup
].

These are not the only cases. According to Amnesty International’s
study, Torture in 2014: 30 Years of Broken Promises, [ see also :
https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/brazil-protests-world-cup-rio-2014
].

“Reports of police abuse have increased [in Brazil] around protests in
advance of the 2014 World Cup and during military operations in
[favelas]”.

With just weeks until the 2014 World Cup, homeless demonstrators and
their supporters have taken place in a series of high-profile
protests.

The protesters from the Homeless Worker’s Movement have blocked roads
to the stadium and set buses alight, angry that its government is
spending so much on the football tournament while failing to invest in
housing and education.

It is claimed that some 11 million people in Sao Paulo’s metropolitan
area are living in slum-like conditions.

The latest estimates put the final bill of hosting the football
tournament at an estimated $60 billion (£36bn). If you lived in a
decaying rat infested, drug infested slum without public facilities,
with no access to free health , education and sanitation , within
sight of a sixty billion football pitch you might well question your
governments priorites as well.

In the USA legislation is being passed in some less progressive states
to criminalise homeless people. Homeless people have enough to contend
with as it is.

Don’t let Britain , which has always been a reasonably fair and
tolerant society import brutal responses to homelessness from other
less enlightened regimes.

These spikes willl mean :

1.The homeless not finding any form of shelter
2.More deaths from being exposed to bad weather
3.More cases of the homeless setting themselves alight so they can
take a hospital bed
4. More exposure to crime
5.we fail to realise that some of the homeless have mental health issues
There are many other reasons why these spikes will exposure homeless
people to harm, and lets not forget that they are people Not vermin.
Also if prisoners can have human rights then so can our homeless
people on the streets.

We will be monitoring this issue closeley locally and raising this
issue with Councillors and MP’s and others at the appropriate forums
to ensure this is not done anywhere in Rochdale without major and
concerted opposition.

Concerned readers can stand in solidarity with the homeless by
e|mailing their elected Councillor to express their concerns and tell
them we do not want this brutal form of homeless coercion in our
streets and neighbourhoods here in Rochdale and the wider townships.

Thank you.

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